The leader of the Swedish People’s Party, Carl Haglund, has urged caution over a proposal to increase the retirement age to 65.
Haglund, who is also defence minister, described the planned reform of the state pensions system as having ”serious equality problems”, at a party convention in Ostrobothnia. The minister claimed the changes provide no incentive for workers to extend their careers, and do not support people who choose to remain in work.
The planned changes, which involve raising the pensionable age on a sliding scale for workers born in or after 1955, were the outcome of negotiations last week between Finland’s unions, the government and pension funds.
However the trade union confederation for highly educated workers, Akava, refused to sign the accord, arguing that it doesn't go far enough and will have to be overhauled in ten years.
Haglund claimed Akava’s decision not to back the proposal was ”serious”, insisiting that the government’s aim had been to find a solution that all sides could agree on.
He suggested that if it were the blue-collar federation, SAK, which was rejecting the deal, ministers would be more likely to take note.
The defence minister added that highly educated women would lose out the most from the proposed reforms, as they would not be able to increase their pensions and therefore make up for years spent outside the workforce.
He called on the government to carefully consider how to proceed with the reforms.
The proposed changes will now begin being drawn up into a bill before being submitted to parliament.